Sunday, February 6, 2011

Spain: Beautiful Country and Great Food

Yesterday my roommate and I went to a nearby Pueblo (village).  We got off the bus and walked around a bit then decided we wanted to go up.  So we started to climb up the streets, which eventually became dirt paths and eventually no paths at all.  As we climbed we found many amazing and beautiful things.  In the very first picture below you can see a cliff/mountain in the background.  If you look very closely you can tell that someone lives in that mountain as their home or something.  We didn't try to get too close cause there was someone there who seemed to own it.  It looked like it had been hollowed out and turned into a home.  There is a chimney that you can see on the top and you can see the windows as well.  There were also tons of very tiny houses and cellars for wine dug into the mountain side as we walked down the street. One of them seemed abandoned and the door was a jar so I took some pictures.  It was really incredible.

As our walk progressed further into the country we ended up walking through vineyards and farms where you could see the beautiful mountains and houses etc. in the background.  There were horses, donkeys, dogs, and roosters as we walked up this mountain.  We came down the mountain a different way than we went up and we ended up in a little gypsy village or something.  There were shacks made out of metal, hay stones tarps etc. and dozens of dogs.  We got looked at very strange and all the dogs were barking at us.  I don't think its often that they see two white guys with cameras come waltzing through this area.  It was a bit uncomfortable so I wasn't able to take too many pictures but you can see a couple here.

When we were done wandering around aimlessly and decided to head back to Logrono we headed back to where we needed to catch the bus.  The bus stop was in the middle of the town at the Plaza Mayor (or the main square).  These plazas have such a Spanish feeling to them with the kids playing and the grandparents sitting and talking in the sun and the cafe's with people sipping coffee or beer.  As we boarded the bus I looked out the window and I see a guy stopped in the middle of the street on a donkey.    He was disheveled, had no shoes on and a huge drunken smile as he was clearly having trouble balancing on the donkey.   I wish he had showed up just a few minutes before the bus because I was not able to get a picture but it was one of the strangest/funniest sights I have seen in a long time.

Later that we had a dinner plan with a couple of local Spanish friends, Beatriz and Jesus.  Bea had invited a few of us over for a proper Spanish meal (which of course started at 11:00).  First course of puree of different sea foods that you dipped veggies, crackers and olives in.  They were all very good.  The next course was one vegetable dish,  spanish tortilla (an extremely popular dish here that is similar to an omelet), and MEAT!  The meat was three different dishes, pork, salchicha (a type of sausage) and blood sausage.  I had never had blood sausage before but I found it enjoyable.  And of course were drinking good Rioja wine that was grown in the fields I had been tromping through earlier that day (maybe not literally).  Dessert was a champagne drink that was mixed with homemade lemon sorbet, and a pastry dish that we had bought at a local bakery.

It was a great weekend and I can't wait to explore outside of the city again.

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